Outstanding Deaf cricketer Umesh Valjee MBE has become an Ambassador for Doncaster Deaf Trust.

Valjee is a role model for the Deaf community. He was Captain of the England Deaf XI. He played premier league cricket for Stanmore CC in Middlesex for 30 years and one season for The Mote CC in Maidstone and now plays for Shenley Village Cricket Club.

Cricketing highs include touring with the Club Cricket Conference to Australia in 1997 and Zimbabwe in 1999 and playing county 2nd XI games for Gloucestershire and Hampshire, but he became renowned in disabled cricket after making his debut for England Deaf in 1992, going on to play 54 times - 41 as captain.

Natalie Pollard, British Sign Language (BSL) manager for Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “We are thrilled to welcome Umesh as an ambassador for the Trust.

“He is a role model in the world of sport. Promoting health, fitness and well-being is so important to our pupils and students and participating in sport is key to getting people involved.” 

Umesh joins Punk Chef, Scott Garthwaite, and actress Charlotte Arrowsmith as Ambassadors for the Trust helping to share the great work that takes place to promote BSL and Deaf Awareness.

The Trust, who have been providing Deaf education from the Doncaster site since 1829, manage Little Learners Day Nursery, Doncaster School for the Deaf, Dickson House care home, Communication Specialist College Doncaster (for Deaf students and those with communication difficulties including autism) and Aspire to be – employability services.

The Trust launched a free online BSL course in 2020, thanks to National Lottery funding, and already more than 21,000 have registered to learn to sign.

Umesh Valjee MBE said: “I am excited to become an ambassador for Doncaster Deaf Trust and learning more about the fantastic work they are doing to promote British Sign Language (BSL). It is so important for the Deaf community to have such support. I am looking forward to working with them to help to promote BSL and Deaf Awareness.”

To learn the basics of the British Sign Language level one course visit www.doncasterdeafsign.org.uk